VOSA IVA Anti-Theft Device Installation

An Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) requires an anti-theft device to be installed. This means that when importing cars a Thatcham Category 2 immobiliser should be fitted as a minimum. The IVA test centre will require an original document of installation from an installer who is a member of either the MESF or TRI programs.

IVA Replaces SVA

The IVA is a pre-registration inspection to determine a vehicle’s suitability to drive on UK roads. As of 29 th April 2009 it replaced the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) service for all passenger cars that fall into the M1 (maximum 8 seats plus driver’s seat) category.  

The IVA was created to ensure imported vehicles comply with UK law, but it also applies to kit cars, bespoke vehicles, as well as very small production runs. The IVA is being phased in slowly and by 2014 will apply to all vehicle types. IVA’s are also only necessary for cars less than ten years old.  

Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA) provide a number of IVA test centres around the country where this inspection service can be arranged.

Thatcham Category 2 Immobiliser

As a minimum the anti-theft device should be a Thatcham Category 2 immobiliser. However it is also acceptable to have a Thatcham Category 1 car alarm system fitted as an alternative.  

It is not acceptable to have the immobiliser or alarm system fitted in the country of origin, as the device must be on the approved Cat 2 immobiliser list available from Thatcham. Scroll to page 10 for “Aftermarket Electronic Immobilisers”, followed by a list of deleted Cat 2 devices.

We fit two Sterling Cat 2 immobiliser systems, the basic sterling Touch, and the Sterling Excel for deactivation without driver intervention.

Approved Installer

The VOSA IVA test centre will also require a certificate of installation from an Approved Installer. The only two recognised bodies for approved installers are: Mobile Electronics and Security Federation (MESF) VOSA Installer, or Thatcham Recognised Installer (TRI).  

We are both MESF VOSA Installers, and TRI.  

We can provide a free MESF paper certificate with genuine impression stamp through all copies, or a TRI database entry. The TRI system is an on-line approach where details are entered onto the Thatcham database, for each individual car. This system is meant to be ‘paperless’, however customers can login and print off a paper copy if it is required. Please note that installers cannot print paper copies, as this can only be done by the car owner. Thatcham charge a one-off fee of £15 for each new database entry (when alarm is installed).

Contact Dragon Car Audio & Security.

Read more information from VOSA on how to import a vehicle and IVA. Anti-theft installation guidelines are in section 5.8 on page 19.


182 Laburnum Grove, North End, Portsmouth, PO2 0EU, United Kingdom. Tel: 023 9236 8235